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Us 16, Nbc 11, Syria 8, Lyrica 8, Rick Santorum 7, Washington 7, Amy 7, Nelson Mandela 6, Schneiderman 6, Scotty Mccreary 5, Newman 5, Gary Chapman 5, Michigan 5, Yum 4, Africa 4, Amy Robach 4, Hollywood 4, Georgia 4, Lester Holt 4, Scotty 4,
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  WRC    Today    News/Business.  (2012) Sisters with breast cancer; medical  
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    February 25, 2012
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asking her to his prom. he responded yesterday and said she can't make it to the prom but asked if he could escort her to the music awards in april breaking news. former south african president nelson mandela is hospitalized for a long-standing stomach condition. doctors say the 93-year-old needs special medical attention. we'll have a live report from johannesburg. mounting pressure. international leaders call on syria's president t end his deadly 11-month crackdown on opponents. this as the red cross continues its rescue mission there while facing relentless violence. we're live on the syria/turkey border. and stormy weather. tornadoes ripped through the south tearing down homes, trees, and power lines while strong winds with gusts up to 60 miles per hour blow through parts of the northeast leaving a trail of
damage. today is saturday, february damage. today is saturday, february 25th, 2012. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good morning everyone. welcome to "today" on a saturday. i'm lester holt. >> and i'm amy robach. nelson mandela is 93 years old so any medical condition at this time is considered serious. >> we got word several hours ago he had been admitted to the hospital. the first report was he had undergone surgery then we were told something different. there is some conflicting information. he was last seen two years ago at the world cup in south africa. that was his last public appearance. we'll get a live report from johannesburg on the latest on his condition in a moment. then legal troubles this morning for a member of the kennedy family. one of robert kennedy's sons faces several charges including child endangerment involving his
3-day-old son. and former model lauren scruggs. we want to show you the first images of the 23-year-old wearing her new prosthetic eye and will update her progress months after the horrific accident involving an airplane propellor when she lost an eye and an arm. then we'll look at the link between having a healthy relationship and living longer. best selling author gary chapman has a recipe for a happy marriage, and couples from across the country flock to his marriage seminars. we'll take you inside his popular sessions. you know a bad romance can be bad for your health. dr. oz drops by our studio to talk about the impact that relationships can have on your overall well being. and he is going to take your questions about sex, love, and health later on. we begin this morning with nelson mandela. the 93-year-old antiapartheid activist and former president has been hospitalized and treated for a stomach condition. our nbc news special
correspondent is in johannesburg with the latest. good morning. what can you tell us at this hour? >> reporter: good morning, lester. well, the one thing we do know is that former president nelson mandela is in the military hospital in pretoria about 45 minutes from here. we don't know his condition, but contrary to the way this information was passed when president mandela was last hospitalized, we are being told that the only people who will speak on this are the president's spokes people. at this point the president's spokesman says that president mandela is in hospital and that under the circumstances, given his age, he is doing well. we do have conflicting information about whether or not there was indeed abdominal surgery. most of the information i've gotten suggests that there was surgery this morning although recently one of the other
spokesmen told one of the television stations here that there was no surgery. we'll just have to wait and see. >> we had also heard a report that this was a preplanned hospital admission. do we know if this was an emergency or something that was planned? >> reporter: well, based on the information that i'm getting now, and remember this is early information, this was not planned. in fact, as early as last thursday, i'm being told former president mandela was in very good health, that he was eating, gaining weight, and from what i know at this moment, this was not planned. that could change because the situation is fluid. >> i recall a year ago when he had a health scare one of the concerns of the government was trying to keep down any crowd that might gather at the hospital. do we know if that is a part of their thinking as they make their announcements and updates? >> reporter: well, it may be a
part of their thinking but the media have converged on the military hospital there in pretoria. i know that for sure. i don't know about ordinary citizens. i would suspect that it being a military hospital the access might be difficult, but media are gathered there. media have gone to the area of his home and museum exist, so at this moment the media are totally engaged in this issue. however serious or not serious it may be. of course, as you know, nelson mandela is 93 years old but a strong warrior. he's been through other issues, medical issues before and survived, so i think the country once they get the news will all be on their knees or however they pray, hoping that he gets past this in good health. >> a strong warrior. that's a great description. charlene hunter-gault thanks so
much for being with us this morning. we'll check back with you if there are any developments. now to the crisis in syria. the red cross has begun a second day of evacuations there as world leaders urged an end to the violence. nbc's richard engle is on the border of syria and turkey. richard, good morning. >> reporter: good morning. efforts are continuing to try and evacuate more people from the besieged city of holm this evacuation being carried out by the red cross and syrian red crescent. it is, however, a very limited operation only in this city and on a very small scale. red cross officials say yesterday they were only able to take out about 30 people, starting with women and children. critics are calling this something of a pr move, saying the syrian government is simply trying to buy time to alleviate a little bit of pressure while continuing its offensive against the opposition. just today, according to the
opposition, at least 20 people have been killed in ongoing violence. >> richard, given the sense of where things stand right now what does the syrian opposition want? what are the risks? >> reporter: the opposition wants weapons. they want a lot of weapons and they want a legitimate way to receive them, probably sending them right through the corridor where i'm standing right now. the risks that the united states sees, the united states doesn't know the opposition well and they worry that arming the opposition would mean arming groups like the muslim brotherhood and even more radical islamic factions. >> all right. richard engel, we appreciate it. thank you. once again here's lester. thanks. here at home weather is a big concern this morning, specifically the saskatchewan screamer the name of the fast-moving winter storm that dumped more than a half foot of snow on much of the midwest, disrupting travel from illinois to maine. here's the weather channel's mike seidel. >> reporter: it's not over till it's over, and mother nature
showed that is certainly true this winter. in chicago strong winds and slushy snow made for slick roads and a maddening morning commute. >> there's baeen a lot of accidents. my area isn't plowed yet. >> reporter: the storm snarled air traffic across the country, more than 200 flights canceled at o'hare, ruining weekend plans for joanna and her 6-year-old daughter, katie. >> i wanted to see my brother and dad. >> reporter: this is only chicago's third sizable snowstorm this season, and dozens of schools are canceled. snow plows and snow blowers are getting a rare winter workout. after dumping more than 9 inches of snow on colorado and the dakotas, the storm system swept east across the midwest into the great lakes. that same system caused severe weather across the south. hail in georgia. in alabama, high winds ripped the roof off of a school with 62 children inside. luckily, no one was seriously
injured. in connecticut temperatures thursday approached 60 degrees. friday there was as much as 5 inches of snow on the ground. it fell heavy and fast, knocking out power for hundreds of customers. >> when i didn't hear any sounds of the coffee perking when i looked, then it dawned on me, the power is out. >> reporter: but the heavy snow has ski resorts in the northeast gearing up for what could be their best weekend yet after one of the mildest winters on record. and with landscapes like these, many in the northeast tonight are taking it all in stride. >> it's not bad. it's the end of february in northeast p.a., people. >> reporter: for "today" mike seidel, nbc news, chicago. turning to politics, we're just three days away from michigan's big primary and mitt romney and rick santorum are taking their contrasting economic messages to voters there. alex wagner is the host of nbc's "now with alex wagner." good morning. >> good morning to you.
>> let's talk about mitt romney and michigan. his campaign says he could survive a loss there. what do you think? >> no. mitt romney cannot survive a loss there for a number of reasons. one is this is a state he thought he was always going to win. he's come out saying i think we'll win this. he is a son of detroit. his father was a former governor there. he has roots there. it is a must win also because he took a beating from rick santorum in the three caucuses we just had. he needs to once again prove to the republican party that he is going to be the nominee, that air of electability is very much something he needs to sort of ride out for the next couple months. >> he has taken a bit of a beating for the economic speech he gave yesterday for a couple reasons. first, something he said when he talked about the automobile industry. he tried to personalize it. let's take a listen. >> i drive a mustang and a chevy pickup truck. ann drives a couple cadillacs actually. and i used to have a dodge truck. i used to have all three covered. >> a couple cadillacs. we know detroit has been hit
hard by the economy, more so than most states or most areas. that was a tough one. >> yeah, it was a tough one on the heels of many comments mitt romney has made of late about -- that sort of belie an insensitivity, perhaps, to the struggles of the poor and the working class. the only thing that might have been worse, if he had said ann is chauffeured around in the cadillacs. i'm sure ann drives the car herself. >> michael steele the former republican national committee chairman said of michigan, it's a blue collar state and romney is not blue collar. he's like a stranger in a strange land. how much of a statement do you think -- does this resonate with michigan voters? i mean, do they feel disconnected? >> i think there is a general sense of disconnection from mitt romney, but, look, i think we would be unwise to discount the strength that he has in terms of the economic message. he is the one candidate in this race that has tried to stay on this sort of business and economy message at some point to
the detriment of his own campaign but i think it really resonates in a state like michigan. i think it's a very close race right now, but the romney camp sounds confident that he may win this on tuesday. >> then he made the other gaffe of saying too many people who wanted to hear him speak so he moved to a larger location and it ended up dwarfing him, 1200 people in an arena for 65,000. >> unlike the romney camp which tends to be -- especially because he unveiled the contents of the economic plan on wednesday so all there was left for those of us in the media to focus on was the fact his audience was sitting in rows a-9 through b-10 or whatever it was. >> right. meanwhile according to a new "the washington post" poll rick santorum's favorability with gop women has risen. what does this say about santorum and the republican party? >> this is a big head scratcher. if you see rick santorum on the campaign trail, there are a lot of women in the audience, sometimes more women than men. he really plays up the notion that he's a father, a family
man. i think with a very conservative wing of the republican party that really resonates. now, there is a very big difference between winning the republican primary and winning a general election. if you look at the head-to-head matchup between president obama and rick santorum, president obama and mitt romney, president obama still comes out with a sometimes 15-point margin among women. >> it is interesting. does that speak perhaps to the likability factor of santorum and does he have that edge over romney? >> well, there is an authenticity with rick santorum. we talk about mitt romney and his speech in detroit. there is a woodenness, a sense that he is very disconnected from the population. rick santorum is very impassioned and you get the sense he would be saying this message regardless of whether he was running for office. >> all right. thanks so much. we appreciate it. >> thanks, amy. >> you can see alex wagner week days at noon. now let's get more from alex witt over at the news desk. it's an alex morning it is. i'm glad to be here. good morning, everyone. we begin in eastern afghanistan where officials say
deadly rioting has broken out for a fifth day against the destruction of korans at a u.s. military base. we go to kabul. good morning, atia. >> reporter: good morning, alex. the violence doesn't seem to be letting up. we are in the fifth consecutive day of protests as angry afghans take to the streets. we know about northern afghanistan over a thousand protesters tried to storm a united nations compound. hundreds of demonstrators tried to take over the governor's compound and right now we have unconfirmed reports, i repeat unconfirmed, but that two foreign advisers may have been shot inside of the ministry of interior here in the capital of kabul. we're waiting for more details about that, and we're still not clear if it has to do with the burnings of the korans. alex? >> all right. thank you for that. federal authorities have joined the investigation into the penn state sexual abuse scandal and requested information involving former assistant football coach jerry sandusky and other top school officials involved in the case.
sandusky is charged with 52 counts of abuse, stemming from allegations that he molested ten boys over a 15-year period. so far all charges have been brought by state prosecutors. sandusky has maintained his innocence. a los angeles judge has refused to release michael jackson's doctor on bail while he appeals his conviction for involuntary manslaughter in the pop superstar's death. the judge rejected conrad murray's bid during a hearing friday, saying he is a flight risk and that he would be a danger to society if he tried to practice medicine again. jackson died of an overdose of the anesthetic propofol in 2009 while in murray's care. doctors say dutch prince johan frezo may never come out of a coma after he was buried in an avalanche last week. he was skiing off marked courses in western austria when the avalanche happened. he was trapped under the snow for more than 20 minutes and he has been unconscience since he was rescued. model and fashion blogger
lauren scruggs has been photographed for the first time with the prosthetic eye she was fitted with after accidently walking into a plane propeller last year. scruggs was seen leaving a gym this week in her hometown of dallas where she is making a remarkable recovery. the 23-year-old was nearly killed december 3rd when she was struck by the propeller of a plane that had taken her up to see christmas lights from the dallas sky. ship wrecked silver and other artifacts are on their way back to spain after the deep sea explorers who found the treasure lost their claim to it. the 17-ton haul, lost for two centuries in the wreck of the spanish ship began its journey home friday from a u.s. airforce base in tampa, florida aboard two spanish military cargo planes. it's worth an estimated $500 million we can dream. that's the news. now back over to lester, amy, and bill. >> thanks so much. >> time for somebody not named alex right? two alexes in a row. >> maybe if i had been a girl
woi would have been. we showed you the pictures from the south with the severe weather and tornadoes. the northern portion of the country got the snow. now that the storm is gone the wind machine is going to really crank up. we'll see high winds today, coastal areas of new england, long island, new york city, high wind warnings in effect. widespread wind advisories. the difference between the warning and advisory, if you have a warning you can expect damage. advisory maybe some minor issues. so why is it so windy? think of the storm, the area of low pressure, the "l" as a big hole. think of the high pressure over texas as a mountain. while all of that stuff has to flow down in to fill the hole up in the atmosphere that's why it's so windy. it's the air rushing from the middle of the country to where the storm used to be. that's what we're dealing with today. we got a lot of snow last night in maine. we still have lake effect snow around syracuse and outside of cleveland and pittsburgh. so the cold air is arriving but by february standards this is how it should be around the country. so it looks like a ver administrative -- atmosphere. we have lake effect snow in syracuse and pittsburgh and cleveland. the cold is arriving but this is how it should be around the country.
looks like a typical late february weekend. that's a look at your national forecast now outside your window. good morning. i'm chuck bell. the sun is shining outside washington right now. we'll have a mix of sun and sunshine. the headline is the windy conditions you should be expecting. currents temperatures in the upper 30s around the 40 degree mark and windchills down to mid-20s, expect a breezy that's a look at your weekend forecast, amy. >> thank you. new legal troubles this morning for a son of robert f. kennedy. douglas kennedy has been arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, his own child. we have exclusive details. this is a strange story. >> it certainly is. good morning, amy. camelot heir douglas kennedy says he only wanted to take his newborn son outside for some fresh air, but the nurses say they told him no baby can leave the floor of the maternity ward.
soon what should have been a time celebrating a birth instead turned ugly. douglas kennedy carried his three-day-old baby into a hospital elevator to try to go outside for a walk, but nurses say they tried to stop him because they say kennedy was not allowed to take the newborn off the maternity ward floor. the argument escalated and kennedy is seen heading to a stairwell trying to get outside. one nurse claims he then twisted her arm and soon another is seen being knocked to the ground. douglas kennedy raised his right foot and with tremendous force kicked me in the left side of my pelvic area the nurse claims in sworn testimony. out of camera range kennedy, too, fell down, but baby bo was not injured. the lawyer for the nurses says kennedy was out of control. >> they called what's called a code pink. that is it looks like there's
someone trying to abs connko ab the hospital. >> kennedy, a fox news reporter, and the son of ethel and robert kennedy, was arrested after several weeks of investigation. this all happened back on january 7th inside northern westchester hospital. kennedy and his wife molly issued a statement, claiming it was the nurses who attacked him. it's sickening to think our simple desire to take our son outside for fresh air has been warped into a charge of child endangerment. he also faces misdemeanor counts for allegedly attacking the nurses. but the kennedys point to a doctor friend who does not work on that floor but was present, and he says, i witnessed the incident and i can state that the nurses were the only aggress aggressors. >> mr. kennedy was acting politely, calmly.
the only reason anything happened here was because of the misconduct of two nurses. >> reporter: a spokesman for the westchester county district attorney declined comment except to say the criminal charges have been filed against kennedy. kennedy was arraigned on the three criminal counts, all misdemeanors. he is vowing to fight the charges while his lawyer says he expects the nurses soon to be filing a lawsuit over what took place inside the hospital and, amy, so far the hospital has not issued a statement about this. >> a point to be made, the nurses haven't been charged with anything even though the kennedy doctor friend is saying they were the aggressors. the da didn't go after the nurses in any way. were they injured? >> they say some neck and hip injuries, some bruising. that's why the charges are misdemeanor. there are no broken bones. the prosecutors say, look. we went over these tapes. we interviewed all the parties. we have sworn statements from witnesses. the charges we decided to file are against mr. kennedy, not the nurses. >> all right. thanks so much. we appreciate it. and still to come, an update
on an infamous case that's haunted australia for decades. details coming up. first, this is "today" on nbc.
saving your marriage by speaking the language of love. marriage expert gary chapman explains how. plus the academy awards will be handed out this weekend. we take a closer look at who casts the votes. first, these messages. handed
out this weekend. you're looking at our live city cam. it's beautiful morning. if you looks at the flag amuch to the white house, windy and a little chilly today. good morning. it is 7:26 on this saturday, february 25th. i'm chris gordon. topping your "news4 today," a developing story in prince george's county. seven firefighters are recovering after battling a house fire. it happened in maryland. one firefighter remains in critical condition, another in serious condition with major
burns. a third firefighter is hospital lights with broken ribs and the other four have been treated and at the hospital. investigators are still working
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break. a pretty looking day outside this morning. menfy of sunshine. a little on the chilly side and a whole lot on the windy side as you make your plans to get outside and enjoy your saturday. mostly mid-and upper 30s in fairfax and prince george's county and northern maryland, where temperatures are close to the freezing mark. temperatures around 30 degrees. it is definitely a cold feeling
day to get you started. wind advisory posted threw 6 p.m. this evening. highs generally in 40s and back up near 50 tomorrow without anywhere near as much wind to worry we're back on this saturday morning, february 25th, 2012. it's the last full weekend in february. march is just around the corner. we want to thank the people who have come out to spend part of their weekend with us. look at those pretty pictures. we'll go outside to say "hi" in just a bit. i'm amy robach with lester holt and coming up in this half hour a new investigation into one of australia's most notorious and bitterly controversial legal dramas. >> the case involved the 1980 death of a 9-week-old baby whose parents said she was taken by a wild dog in the australian outback. it was later made into a movie starring meryl streep. why is it back in the news 30 years later?
we'll have details, coming up. plus, it is called the dunwoody daycare murder trial. a georgia man is charged with killing the husband of his alleged mistress and now the widow has been banned from the courthouse. we'll find out why, coming up in a live report. then on a lighter note dr. oz drops in for a house call to talk about the link between love and good health. he'll take your questions about sex relationships and keeping that spark alive. all right. and then hollywood honors its best during the 84th annual academy awards tomorrow night. all the emphasis is on the nominees but do you ever wonder who the oscar voters are? we'll take a look, coming up. but we begin this half hour with the trial in new jersey of former rutgers university student facing charges for allegedly using a web cam to spy on his roommate's sexual encounter with another man. it comes after the defendant turned down a plea deal last year that would have allowed him to avoid jail time. nbc's craig melvin has details.
>> reporter: the 19-year-old defendant walked into the new jersey courtroom friday, sat silently and listened as his lawyers painted two very different pictures of him. a prosecutor described a homophobic teenage cyber bully. >> the defendant's acts were not a prank, and they were not a mistake. these acts were purposeful. they were intentional. they were criminal. >> reporter: his lawyer claims his client was merely an immature college prankster. >> not a bigot. you'll see. while he was stupid at times he is certainly not a criminal. >> reporter: he faces 15 counts of among other things invasion of privacy and hate crimes. prosecutors say in the fall of 2010 he set up his web camera to spy on his roommate, 18-year-old tyler clemente. he watched as he had an intimate encounter with an older man in their dorm room. prosecutors say he also let a group of friends briefly peek at
the two and then tweeted and sent texts like this one. my roommate asked for the room until midnight. i said okay and i left. i turned on my web cam and saw him making out with some dude. days later tyler clemente jumped off the george washington bridge and killed himself. many especially gay rights activists point to this case as a tragic example of what can happen when homophobia and cyber bullying go unchecked. >> the point you want to make -- >> reporter: but a judge has ruled the suicide cannot be mentioned during the trial. in an interview earlier this week on "today" his parents stopped short of blaming rhabi for their son's death but did not hide their anguish. >> i don't know why he did what he did. >> aching of your muscles and tightening of your face and jaw and clenching and the pain hurts so much. >> reporter: for "today" craig melvin, nbc news, new brunswick, new jersey. let's get another check of the weather from bill karins. >> not bad. last weekend in february and we're doing okay. the pacific northwest, one of
those spots we probably would like to get a little more sunshine this weekend. we have rain showers widespread from the coast line of oregon through washington. snow in the mountains and through the intermountain west now starting to pick up some snow. eventually this will be a storm for the northern plains, significant snow for north dakota and northern minnesota as we go into sunday. in the east watch out and be prepared for a very, very windy afternoon. winds could gust as high as 60 miles per hour in areas like new jersey, new york city, and coastal areas of new england. otherwise the deep south a little chillier today than the past but the only wet spot is miles an hour in new jersey and coa coastal areas of the deep south. it's going to be chillier than in the past but the wet spot is in texas. good morning. welcome to your weekend. i'm storm 4 meteorologist chuck bell. we have more clouds north and west of the d.c. area. if you're making plans to enjoy your saturday, a partly sunny day. you get through washington,
fredericksburg and stafford. it will be a for all your weekend weather plans hour by hour you can always get that at weather.com. >> all right, bill. thanks very much. >> coming up, lester, do you speak the language of love? gary chapman aka is love guru, explains how that could save your marriage. and dr. oz weighs in about relationships and the connection between a happy marriage and a healthy life. we'll talk to him. but first, these messages. sweet, nutty crunchy nut... can't wait 'til morning.
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in the sea of books, lectures, and television shows that focus on improving your relationship there is one voice that stands above the rest. he is an unlikely candidate for the title of love guru and yet couples across the country are flocking to his seminars on how to save your marriage. he >> reporter: on a sunny saturday in iowa, more than 600 people are streaming into a des moines church. what has become the hottest ticket not just in this town but in any town where this man is speaking. his name is gary chapman. >> great to see you here this morning. >> reporter: he is best known for a book he wrote two decades ago that has skyrocketed in popularity only in the past two years. "the five love languages." >> who knows what's going on in the mind of a man? >> reporter: chapman's road show is a day long discussion of love and sex, a seminar some have
called nothing short of a marriage saver. >> the "new york times" calls you the country's least likely love guru. is that an insult or compliment? >> i take it as a compliment. my love language is words of affirmation so i'll turn everything i can into an affirmation. >> reporter: how about this for an affirmation? in des moines chapman's "the marriage you've always wanted" seminar was a sellout. couples like this one both in their 20s and barely off their honeymoon. they married just six weeks ago. >> everything is great but a year from now it will be important to remember, okay. she needs to hear me express this. >> reporter: by his own admission gary chapman is an unlikely marriage counselor. 74 years old, a southern baptist minister, he says his own marriage used to be awful. >> the first years of our marriage were absolutely incredibly terrible. >> reporter: now married 50 years, this grandfather talks openly about issues often considered taboo inside a church. >> there is only one right thing to do with an affair.
you break it off. oh, but i'll die if we can't be together! no you won't die. we studied that, too. >> reporter: chapman's message is that partners should express love the way the other wants to receive it all delivered with a dash of humor. >> guys, i'm not suggesting dandilions, okay? you don't have any flowers in your back yard, the neighbor's yard. >> reporter: the language of love as couples embrace the advice of a minister on a mission. >> here with more insight into marriage relationships and our health is dr. oz, host of "the dr. oz show." great to see you here. before we talk about that brings you down here on a weekend? >> i'm getting to that. we are going to pack radio city music hall with the first annual happiness summit. how can happiness go together with intimacy and relationships? i've learned more than anything else as i've traveled through my life in medicine that is where
people need the most. a lot of folks can't come to the summit. we'll do them all over the country. today you can sign up for the event, we'll give you a ton of information from the summit. there are seven steps to win the million bucks. one of them is about relationships. it's about the fact that we crave that from each other and without that we can't have health and happiness. for all the financial guys out there if you don't have wealth you can't have health but the opposite is true, too. if you aren't healthy you can't be wealthy. >> let's talk about marriage relationships. we know emotionally we feel better in a happy marriage. but is there any evidence we are healthier people? >> there is tons of evidence. there is a marriage advantage without any question. when a man and a woman hold hands the stress hormones within a female's brain drop dramatically. there is a huge benefit. there are very different effects on men and women depending on what aspect of the relationship air talking about. for example if men and women get divorced it shortens their life expectancy by about eight years. but if they're in an unhappy
relationship, unhappy marriage the man only loses four years of life. he's better off staying in a bad relationship. the woman loses 12 years of life. this is real age data, a huge paradox. >> i'm thinking stress is the main issue. what kind of -- how can stress manifest? what kind of ailments would we typically see? >> without question the biggest penalty is your cardiovascular system. when we have stress in our bodies it takes the heart and blood vessels to a whole new level. you pay a price with a three times increase for the chance of heart surgery, dramatic changes in longevity. it's about the same as having smoking in your life. so think about that. being in an unhappy relationship or bad marriage has the same impact on your life as if you are a continuous smoker. there is a profound impact on your immune system. people get more infections and cancer. >> what about a healthy sex life? >> sex is one of those ways we experience that zen moment of calmness that we so often crave
in our lives. when we don't have sex in our relationships it's usually a sign we're not in a good relationship. that is not always the case. i challenge most folks who can hear my voice right now, if there are any sexless relationships are they really in a happy relationship? when you have physical intimacy to reinforce the emotional intimacy we all crave, the biggest famine we have in the world today is we don't have the trust we need to have with each other to be in a relationship. >> what about aging? how does that play into our relationships? >> you travel the world, lester, places where people live the longest. they have different kinds of diets, different relationships even but they all share one common characteristic, which is that they are vigorous in their daily activities, which means they're not trail. what kills more americans than anything else is where we get cancer or heart disease and can't weather the storm. oftentimes what we need is the support of our community, support of people around us. that's why being in relationships are so important. >> how important is it for your doctor to really understand what's going on in your life? it's one thing to look at you physically but do they need to know about your relationship,
about your overall happiness? >> i'll share a secret with you. i still practice that every thursday. i refuse to operate on patients who don't bring a loved one with them. here's my challenge to them. are you going to tell me you don't have a single person all these years you've been on the planet who cares enough about you that i can celebrate with them after i've operated on your heart? if you challenge people with that, and it is a very emotional conversation, they'll go back and find someone. i'm talking about that kind of stuff today at the health and happiness summit because i think if we don't empower people with a belief that they control their destiny, they can't control their body, then they can't control the world outside of them. that's why happiness and health go together. >> great to have you. can you stick around? >> i'll be here. >> great. because in our next hour we've already planned we'll have you along to answer our viewer questions on the link between a healthy sex life and better overall health. tweet your questions to today show or send them to facebook.com/today. we'll see you shortly. thanks. up next, the oscars.
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it's not the nominees but the oscar voters who are getting mixed reviews. nbc's mike taibbi has more from hollywood. >> reporter: there are always arguments on oscar night and not primarily about the fashions. how can the silent surprise "the artist" be the best picture favored of many critics with 28 million in domestic ticket sales when franchise blockbusters from "the transformers" and "harry potter" and "twilight" drew turn away crowds and earned $281 million, $381 million, $352 million just in the u.s. and didn't even make the best picture nomination cut? >> i could love a movie and you could hate it. you wouldn't be right and i wouldn't be wrong. >> reporter: but the other argument is about who actually votes for the stars and studios and people on oscar night? "the l.a. times" had the most
detailed answer yet reaching more than 5,000 voting academy members. >> the academy is 94% white and 77% male. and the median age is 62. >> reporter: other notable numbers? 9 98% of the academy screenwriters are white and 97% of the cinematographers are men. not a huge surprise given the origin and history of hollywood and the oscars, change is slow. so could a superb old style film have an advantage? >> not a lot of young people are dying to go see a black and white silent movie, but for people who love the history of film "the artist" is a great, fantastic movie. >> reporter: it's not just about old white men. this actor who once starred with elvis -- >> i thought i was a nice girl. >> reporter: has long been a nun, now a mother superior, and still has her oscar votes. former best supporting actress nominee alfree woodard says
this -- >> this is one of the last businesses of not reflecting what this country really is. >> reporter: woodard is trying to get the business to become more representative. >> reaching out to people we think, you know what? do you know about the academy? do you know -- i think you should apply. >> reporter: the academy is offering more and more grants and internships. >> in today's time who doesn't want to see more diversity? >> reporter: in the meantime, for all who have seen this year's nominated movies and stars, or not, the arguments have probably already begun. for "today", mike taibbi, nbc news, hollywood. >> at the end of the day you like what you like whether it gets an award or not. we all know the movies we like and enjoy. >> i'm excited. there are some really good ones and i don't know who they'll pick. "the artist" is what they're all saying. it's one to see. not to hear right? >> it would be a talker but like this. >> i knew there was a pun somewhere. all right. coming up country singer scotty
mccreary's life after winning "american idol." first this is "today" on nbc.
still to come on "today" the dunwoody murder trial. was the gunman insane? we'll have details. after 30 years the mystery of a wild dog stealing a baby from the australian outback may finally be resolved.
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you're looking at a live picture from our city cam, wind blowing, chuck has all the info ahead. good morning. it is saturday, feb we 25th. i'm chris gordon. a pedestrian was hit and killed by a car that happened at 3:30 this morning on norback road and aspen hill. police are not saying much about the accident, if the victim was
killed or remained on the scene. and willow springs will be thoroughly cleaned this weekend after a nor row virus outbreak. most complained of nausea and stomach pain. as a precaution, willow springs canceled all activities at the ♪
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♪ the new c-class with over 2,000 refinements. it's amazing...inside and out. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services. stay with us. to help us plan our day's activities, here's meteorologist, chuck bell. >> good morning. you can see on our sky watcher camera heading westbound, we have fuzzy bottom clouds. those are snowflakes. several people sent me notes on tyson's corner and i76, making it to the ground, not expecting accumulation but something to talk about on a saturday morning. temperatures around mid-30s to 40 degrees in washington. we can get snowflakes at these
temperatures because it is much colder in the clouds. on radar, snowflakes are flying headed to the city. >> thanks. good morning. welcome back to "today" saturday morning this 25th day of february, 2012. got a great crowd here on the plaza with a lot of their friends and families back home. our thanks to them for spending part of their saturday with us. i'm lester holt with amy robach. coming up, we'll talk about big drama in a georgia courtroom. >> a man there is accused of gunning down the husband of his alleged mistress. why is she now banned from the courthouse? we'll find out in a live report. plus, a story that gripped the headlines about 30 years ago was made into a movie starring meryl streep and it was a mystery over whether a wild dog could have stolen a baby from
the australian outback. now that mystery may finally be solved. we'll tell you why the so-called dingo case is getting new attention. >> all right. dr. oz is back. in fact, he's out here with us on the plaza saying hello to his friends there. but he'll be back inside to answer all of your questions about love, sex, relationships, and health. >> reporter: but first, let's get more of the morning's headlines. alex witt is at the news desk this morning. a very good morning to you. we have this breaking news, everyone. afghan security forces say now two americans were killed today inside the heavily barricaded interior ministry in the center of the capital of kabul. their deaths come on a fifth day of violent protests across afghanistan sparked by the burning of korans at the bagram airforce base last sunday. president obama and other u.s. officials have apologized and said it was a terrible mistake, but the incident has sent thousands of angry afghans into the streets of this deeply religious country. more than 60 nations meeting
in tunisia have agreed on steps to pressure syria's government to end its brutal crackdown on the opposition. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel is on the border between syria and turkey. richard, good morning. >> reporter: good morning. efforts are still under way to evacuate more people from the besieged city. however, this is a very limited operation, only focusing on this city and so far only involving a few dozen people. hours before some evacuations, signs of how desperate syria has become. the three syrian armies, the rebel brigade tries to fight back. in the village, they attack government forces. it's a brave fight, but they're losing it -- outnumbered and outgunned by a lot. at the center of this firestorm
witnesses describe neighborhoods on fire, people living on onions and shrubs with bodies unreachable under debris. we managed to reach an activist there via skype. he feared for his life. >> trying to protect myself from shelling. anyone can be a target. i think i will die now. i don't know. >> reporter: then an explosion. the line cut. hours later we learned he was okay. but pressure on syria to let up on holmes may have been too much to ignore. more than 60 nations gathered to call for an immediate cease-fire and to allow humanitarian aid to reach holmes fnchts t. >> if the assad regime refuses to allow this life-saving aid to reach people in need, it will have even more blood on its hands. and so, too, will those nations that continue to protect and arm
the regime. >> reporter: among those states, russia. it boycotted the meeting, but even that country expressed concern about holmes and support for a cease-fire. but a short cease-fire limited to evacuate the worst off doesn't mean the conflict in syria is over. far from it. in a turkish village near the syrian border, a funeral for an opposition fighter. at a hillside cemetery they prayed for the martyr to enter heaven as they bury him with shovels and bare hands. diplomacy is too late for him. while the evacuations are certainly needed and welcomed, critics say they are so limited that mostly it is a pr effort by the syrian government, a way to alleviate pressure, to buy some time while it continues its violent crackdown, a violent
crackdown that is continuing even today according to activists at least 20 people have already been killed. alex? >> along the border, thank you so much. nbc's richard engle. former south african president nelson mandela was taken to a militar hospital in pretoria today. the government says there is no cause for alarm. the hospitalization was planned and did not involve surgery. the 93-year-old antiapartheid icon is being treated for a stomach ailment. he has battled stomach problems for years. he is said to be in good spirits and resting comfortably. kyle dire the morning anchor in denver is able to speak for the first time since being bit on the upper part of her lips by a dog while she was on the air. since the accident two weeks ago dire has had two surgeries and is optimistic about her recovery. >> i've just put it in god's hands. i know he's taking care of me, and my family is so grateful that everything is going as well as it is.
>> dire was bitten when she got too close to max during an interview about how that dog was saved by a firefighter after falling through the ice. finally, watch this man struggle to stay awake during a speech by vice president joe biden. there he is. biden was in north carolina friday to talk about the importance of community colleges preparing american workers for the future. now ironically, the man has trouble keeping his eyes open as biden said, americans are tired of being told that we're in a long, slow drift. couldn't describe it any better. that's the news. now back to lester outside on the plaza. >> anybody that works our hours knows what that's like. thanks very much. bill karins is outside here with me with more on the weather and to tell us about these photos. >> obviously surrounded on the plaza by all these kids. i want to bring our attention here. cincinnati's children's hospice, dr. philip, you've treated many of these kids. what are you treating? >> we work with a group of very rare blood derived disorders.
unfortunately, many of them go undiagnosed for far too long. in many cases the outcome is tragic. >> all right. you're trying to bring awareness to this? >> right. >> they can get that information -- i know you have a website over here -- liam's lighthouse foundation.com. thank you very much. let's update the forecast as we go through the weekend. we are watching in the northwest as the storm system is coming onshore. this will bring a lot of problems to the areas of the northern plains through the upcoming weekend. winter storm warnings already in effect. minot, international falls, up along the canadian border. we expect the possibility of 3 to 6 inches of snow at least and it will be windy and very cold issues. we're expecting a possibility of 3-6 inches of snow and windy and very cold heading from sunday to monday. that's a look at your national forecast. now a look outside your window. >> good saturday morning. a little something to talk about. conversation at snowflakes,
notice the fuzzy bottom. quite a few weather watchers repo reports snowflakes flying. won't add up to anything, a little conversation at snowflake for you. snowflakes flying the next we've got a bunch of trouble makers out here. sounds like you had a good time. back inside to you, amy. thank you. now to a murder trial in georgia. a businessman is accused of killing the husband of his alleged mistress. nbc's live in decatur with more. good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you, amy. this is a case about a man who has admitted to killing his co-worker's husband, but in this murder trial the focus seems to be shifting from the accused and more towards the widow. she's not on trial but andrea schneiderman is the widow of rusty schneiderman and has been in the spotlight not only for
her contentious testimony on the stand but for her behavior. >> we are moving to have her removed from the courtroom. no, actually we're moving to have her removed from the courthouse. >> reporter: prosecutors convinced the judge to bar schneiderman from the murder trial of her boss and the man accused of shooting her husband. the surprising move came after mrs. schneiderman hugged her long-time friend shana whose earlier testimony contradicted schneiderman's statement. >> she embraced this witness. she kissed the witness. she got outside and then told the witness, who was a former friend, that since she didn't believe her she wasn't her friend anymore. that was for show. >> reporter: schneiderman had testified she didn't know her husband was shot until she arrived at the hospital. the other witness says she was told of the shooting enroute to the emergency room. she also testified she didn't believe the affair with newman. >> did andrea admit or deny an affair with her boss at that time after the murder? >> denied it. >> when she told you no did you
believe her? >> no. but my heart really wanted to believe her. >> but you didn't believe her? >> reporter: earlier in the week schneiderman was grilled on the witness stand by both the prosecution and the defense. >> i didn't know what happened to rusty until i got to the emergency room. >> okay. >> no one told me what happened to rusty. >> who else did you call? >> i tried to call him to tell him that i left the office and something had happened, which was a very normal thing for me to have done. >> she claims newman wanted a romantic relationship, stalked her, and she rebuffed his advances. >> i think based on what we saw yesterday there was norecipro -- return of any feeling to mr. newman. >> other witnesses rebutted her testimony and said they were romantically involved. >> they did kiss. i did see him with hands on her rear, she kissing him. >> newman's attorney admit the client gunned down rusty
schneiderman as he dropped off his son at daycare but claimed he is not guilty by reason of insanity. they allege newman's obsession with schneiderman made him delusional and hallucinating when the crime happened. the high profile trial will now go on without the widow in the courtroom. newman's attorneys say those hallucinations were of a demon that sounded like barry white and an angel that sounded like olivia newton john. if convicted he faces life in prison. >> thanks so much. and now here's lester. okay. in australia there is a new investigation into one of the country's most notorious and bitterly controversial legal dramas. it's a case that haunted the country for decades and now 32 years later the family involved is looking for closure. >> the dingo got the baby. >> reporter: a mother's words 30 years ago when she found her baby daughter was missing. the family had been camping in the australian outback with
9-week-old azaria. the baby disappeared from her tent. her mother said she had been snatched by wild dogs. few believed her. >> they took the baby! >> reporter: a movie starring meryl streep told the harrowing story of the baby's disappearance. >> oh, please help. >> reporter: and of the court case that followed. at the time of her trial she was pregnant. she was found guilty of her daughter's murder and sent to prison but was later cleared when by chance some of the clothing was found in a dingo lair. the cause of azari's death has never been fixed officially so the mother who has been through so much has returned to court to wipe away any lingering doubt. she wants official confirmation that wild dogs killed her daughter. lawyers have produced new evidence of dingo attacks on humans. >> i also hope that this will close the inquest into my
daughter's death which so far has been standing open and unfinished. >> reporter: in australia, for decades people have disputed whether a wild dog could kill a baby. lindy chamberlain hopes this court case will silence the debate for good. for "today" anabelle roberts, nbc news, london. still to come it seems like everyone is jumping on the mortgage refinancing band wagon but is now the best time for you to change the terms of your home loan? real estate expert barbara corcoran joins us with some answers. but next, love, marriage, and sex. dr. oz is here to take your questions right after these messages. [ sniffs ] bacon?! gotta get that bacon! bacon?! bacon! smokey bacon, meaty bacon, tasty bacon! bacon? ohh, la, la... oh, i say, is that bacon?! oh, good heavens! bacon! bacon! bacon! bacon! who wants a beggin' strip? meee! i'd get it myself but i don't have thumbs! yum, yum, yum, yum, yum... it's bacon!!! mmm i love you,
i love bacon. i love you. i love bacon. i love you. beggin' strips! there's no time like beggin' time. and check out beggin' thick cut. i'm gonna need a bigger mouth! [ female announcer ] improve the health of your skin with aveeno daily moisturizing lotion. the natural oatmeal formula improves skin's health in one day, with significant improvement in 2 weeks. i found a moisturizer for life. [ female announcer ] only from aveeno. i found a moi♪ urizer for life. abracadabra. new hershey's milk chocolate with almonds in pieces. your favorites, in pieces. it just wouldn't go away. my doctor diagnosed it as fibromyalgia, thought to be the result of overactive nerves that cause chronic widespread pain. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. i learned lyrica can provide significant relief from fibromyalgia pain. and for some people, it can work in as early as the first week of treatment.
so now i can plan my days and accomplish more. lyrica is not for everyone. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior, or any swelling or affected breathing or skin, or changes in eyesight, including blurry vision or muscle pain with fever or tired feeling. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain, and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. with less pain, i'm feeling better now that i've found lyrica. ask your doctor if lyrica is right for your fibromyalgia pain. we are back. at 15 past the hour your sex life and health have more to do with each other than you might think. >> and dr. oz, host of the dr. oz show, is back to answer your questions about sexual health and aging. dr. oz, great to have you back.
you have to shoot across the street momentarily for your big seminar. >> they're lining up out there. i know it's hard to get into the event but you can go to dr. oz.com and sign up. we have a lot of information on there. 1.2 million people are taking their health back into control. be part of that group. today is the last day to sign up. sex is a topic we talk about a lot. >> we have a lot of viewer questions. the first is a video question from carlos in new jersey. let's listen. >> hi, dr. oz. do men continue to want to have sex more than women as we age? >> carlos, carlos. yes, not only do men want to have sex more than women which i think women know but the gap tends to get larger as you get older. 77% of men who are older want to have sex and 36% of women and the gap is larger if couples are not married. so marriage closes the gap a
little bit. >> you mentioned the libido enhancing drugs and erectile dysfunction medications give men more confidence which further widens the gap. >> abby from orlando joins us on the phone. what's your question? >> caller: hi. i'm post menopausal and sex feels like razor blades. could that be a hormone problem and is there a remedy? >> you ask a question that is so commonly asked. the answer without question is the hormones -- there are three hormones that hold us back from sex we want to have. estrogen is important for lubrication and for the muscles to relax appropriately. it's part of the libido. testosterone was also made in the ovaries. it's why women gain weight after menopause but also lessen the libido. progesterone is valuable for the female brain so small things that didn't used to bother you begin to bother you. you don't want to be in the bedroom anymore. these are addressable issues.
>> hormone replacement therapy? >> and creams and guess. there are many ways to get past this. this is worth having a conversation. intimacy is an important part of being a human being. you don't want that to be in your past. >> we have another video question. this one is from ike from new york. >> as we age are we more at risk of getting stds? >> this is going to blow your mind. but the biggest increase in stds are in older americans. the incidence has doubled in the last decade, doubled. here's why. lower use of condoms in men and women over the age of 40 because you think you're not fertile. so why bother wearing a condom? of course the major reason is to prevent a sexually transmitted illness. big issue rearing its head true for hpv, gonorrhea, all of the stds are dramatically increased in the older population. >> we have another video
question here. >> hi, dr. oz. do you think there are any risks in taking viagra once you reach say 50 or 60 years old? >> i wonder why he's asking. >> his friend wants to know. >> viagra is a very safe drug. 14% of the population that's older takes it. it's a problem if you have heart problems because it shunts the blood away. the male sex organ is a predictor of health for the male body. if it isn't working right it means the blood vessels aren't working properly. the same vessels in your heart and kidneys may not be working so you take these enhancement drugs and you might shunt the blood from those organs and actually can be problematic. but generally speaking they're pretty safe. >> we were tweeted the next question for you. dr. oz, i just watched your segment on happiness and health in marriage. which gender recovers best from marital infidelity? >> that is a very specific topic for the person. women in relationships crave
protection. guys crave respect. so obviously infidelity undermines both of those. i think women have a much more capable ability to cope with infidelity because you bond with each other and talk about these things and guys don't but i can guarantee one thing. >> our next question is from jim in putnam valley, new york. >> i was wo-- how does working long hours as you age impact sexual relations with your spouse? >> you don't prioritize what is so important to being intimate which is sex. >> and you're tired. >> and you make excuses. it is easy to do. sex begets sex. remember if you don't feel like it you still should do it because it enhances the ability to connect emotionally and this is hard wired into who we are. we can talk about it in generic terms but if we're not involved
with each other and not pushing ourselves to connect with each other because our job, our stress, our money, kids especially, don't make those excuses get in the way of showing up in your own life. the best years are not behind you. they're in front of you. >> a good one to end on. dr. oz, thanks so much for being with us. great information. all right. we'll be right back. first this is "today" on nbc. [ male announcer ] are you paying more and more for cable and enjoying it less and less? stop paying for second best. upgrade to verizon fios and get tv, internet and phone for an incredible price: just $89.99 a month for two years with a two-year agreement. it's an amazing deal, but it's for a limited time only. so don't wait. want to save even more? call right now and we'll add a special bonus: $300 back. unlike cable, fios delivers a 100% fiber-optic network to your home. get america's fastest, most consistent, most reliable internet, plus the best tv picture quality, and more hd.
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♪ i have to take a moment. i was in nashville this week on assignment and i went to tootsie's famous honky donch bar the there. i was there before and both times got invited to play bass with the band. he said a year ago you're going to get me on the "today" show and i said sure. then he reminded me of that promise. we have some cell phone video.
>> there they are. >> just the other night. >> it looks like fun. it's country music? ♪ >> ah. >> anyway, john stone, a great guy. it's a great band. i'm glad we got to hear them. i really appreciate it. twice now. >> now you can show your face proudly back there. why were you in nashville? >> lionel ritchie. did an interview. he has a new album with some country stars. >> looking forward to it. still to come an update on the mysterious death of the reality tv producer in africa. our machines help identify early stages of cancer and it's something that we're extremely proud of. you see someone who is saved because of this technology, you know that the things that you do in your life, matter. if i did have an opportunity to meet a cancer survivor, i'm sure i could take something positive away from that. [ jocelyn ] my name is jocelyn,
and i'm a cancer survivor. [ mimi ] i had cancer. i have no evidence of disease now. [ erica ] i would love to meet the people that made the machines. i had such an amazing group of doctors and nurses, it would just make such a complete picture of why i'm sitting here today. ♪ [ herb ] from the moment we walked in the front door, just to see me -- not as a cancer patient, but as a person that had been helped by their work, i was just blown away. life's been good to me. i feel like one of the luckiest guys in the world. ♪
tv producer in africa. a live look outside. we can see snow flurries as we take a live look at the white house. dealing with a lot of wind today. we will check in with chuck in a minute. saturday, february 25th. i'm angie goff. fire investigators in prince george's county are trying to determine what sparked a house fire that injured seven firefighters that started around 9:00 last night in maryland. one firefighter is in critical condition and another serious condition, both with major burns. a third firefighter has broken
ribs and four others hurt last night have been released from the hospital. right now, shoe fanatics are lined outside a store for a limited edition of nike basketball shoes. a woman sent us these pictures. on minnesota avenue, they plan to hold a lottery this morning for the new foamposite shoes. they have had no crowd problems so far this morning. the footlocker at the mall at prince george's canceled the release because of rioting. one pair costs $220 but can go for ten times t
stay with us. hello, everybody. not sure if you can see it. behind me, we have a bunch of snow flurries flying live around the white house. >> hello. snow squalls around the heart of the washington area now. you can still see snowflakes stuck to the lens. already, blue skies are coming back. temperatures well above the freezing mark and none will stick but last a couple minutes. a little excitement first thing on saturday morning. wind advisory posted the first thing in the afternoon hours.
be ready for a windy day today. the morn awestern side of the c, it won't last long, just conversational flakes. >> sure is we are back on this saturday morning, february 25th, 2012. it is expected to get really windy here in new york city later this afternoon. in the meantime we have a very nice crowd out on our plaza. we thank them for coming out. i'm amy robach with lester holt. really talking about the death of a reality show producer in africa. >> producer for "the amazing race." new clues found in a hotel room are leading investigators in a new direction from the original theory. first they thought his death was involving illegal drugs then choking. we'll tell you what authorities in uganda are focusing on now in the case. then we'll be talking about the housing market. is it starting to show signs of
improvement? let's hope so. with interest rates low, many home owners have questions now about refinancing. our real estate expert will be here with answers to your questions. i recently got some time to sit down with a really charming young man. his name is scotty mccreary the "american idol" winner. his debut album went platinum this year and a new single just went gold. when he is not onstage he is just a regular down-to-earth teenager. i caught up with him. he'll tell us about his post "idol" life. i saw him again this week. he said now i'm going back to high school and doing the whole college acceptance thing right now. >> he was amazing on that show. he was as nice as he seemed to be when he was on the show. >> great kid. >> looking forward to that. before we get to all of that though let's get a check of the weather from bill karins out on the plaza with us. good morning. i have a fantastic daughter here. who do you want to wish happy anniversary to? >> tom and debby stens in knoxville, tennessee. >> your mom and dad. 28 years ago. your mom was beautiful. >> thank you.
>> does your dad still sport the mustache? >> yes, he does. >> has he always had it? >> it's a little gray now. >> that happens to the best of us. well, let's look at your weekend weather forecast. we are watching cold and windy conditions arriving through the great lakes with snow showers and still very windy up along the mid-atlantic and northeast coast line. maybe some damaging winds. be prepared for that. and the northwest we have the next storm that will track. windy and snowy conditions. high elevations. it'll turn into a full fledged snowstorm for our friends in north dakota and northern minnesota on sunday. also some rain down in the southeast. of course the daytona 500 we want to keep the rain from that event as we go throughout sunday afternoon. oscar forecast looks very warm out there in souther southeast, the daytona 500, we want to keep the rain away from that event. the weather looks warm and mild. here's a look at your weather outside your window. >> i'm storm 4 meteorologist, chuck bell. outside our window, snowflakes
conditioni continuing to fly. it sure is sideways snowing at this point. snowflakes racing eastbound. you folks in prince george's county, heading in your also a hello to my friends from boston who made the trip this morning. back to you, lester. >> thanks. turning now to the reality tv producer found dead in uganda this week, authorities there are still trying to figure out what killed jeff rice. as nbc's michelle kosinski reports, new evidence is leading investigators down a new path. >> reporter: jeff rice, originally from oklahoma, has been living a life of adventure in africa. he helped produce the current season of "the amazing race" and worked on "whale wars" and "the biggest loser" but his life suddenly ended a week ago in the ugandan capital. he was there with his production assistant to prepare for a documentary. last saturday he was found on
the balcony of his hotel room lifeless in a chair bleeding from his mouth and nose. fuller was on the floor next to him, unconscious, in critical condition. >> our suspicion was they could have been poisoned. but the report shows there was a problem with choking. >> reporter: poisoned or choked or accidently overdosed. that is what investigators are now leaning toward, saying there was zero sign of struggle, that both had cocaine in their systems, and an overdose is what caused rice's death. they say a bag of white powder in their room contained heroin, but police have also said there was a large amount of cocaine in rice's stomach, leading to questions whether the two might have been forced to swallow drugs. >> it doesn't look like he would have willingly ingested that much cocaine into his stomach that it would have killed him so then he either had to have been poisoned or he had to be
punished and forced to take it. >> reporter: now investigators have arrested a suspected drug dealer. they want to talk to katherine fuller but she is too weak. the death of the reality producer remains a mystery. for "today" michelle kosinski, nbc news, london. the family of that assistant katherine fuller wants her taken to her native south africa for medical care. investigators originally called her a suspect and won't make a decision on her transfer until they obtain a statement from her. up next here on "today" should you dip into your 401(k) to pay off your mortgage? real estate expert barbara corcoran joins us next with some insight on that. first, these messages. ♪ [ kareem ] i was fascinated by balsa wood airplanes since i was a kid. [ mike ] i always wondered how did an airplane get in the air. at ge aviation, we build jet engines. we lift people up off the ground to 35 thousand feet. these engines are built by hand with very precise assembly techniques. [ mike ] it's gonna fly people around the world.
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this morning on today's real estate whether you're refinancing, looking to buy your first home, or stuck in a sticky financial situation investing in real estate can be daunting. here to answer your questions is "today" real estate contributor barbara corkran. good morning. let's start with my question. the market, itself, has it hit bottom, are we seeing it trend upward? what do you think? >> i wish i had the answer on that one. you have to be a good fortune teller. what i can say is in the last, very last report we've had increasing prices for three months in a row. that has never happened before. on top of that the inventory is considerably less. a lot of people predict the
bottom has already passed us. i think we have to wait a few more months to really declare that official. >> it's a good sign though. >> definitely. a happy sign. >> exactly. we deserve some happy news. the first question is from mika. she is in st. louis, missouri. it's about purchasing a larger home for her growing family. we bought our house for $252,000 in 2008, put $20,000 into it. we expect a third child and are considering moving to a larger home for $275,000 but can't get over our real estate agent's listing price suggestion of $250,000. should we sell and buy now or wait? >> well, this is a situation a lot of people are in and for mika, i would say it's probably true that the agent is correct. in that st. louis market prices are still tumbling and still deciding which way it wants to go. the most important thing is to realize you do not want to own two houses and don't you dare buy that second one until you get rid of the first one. and so far as getting rid of the first one goes you really have to market it aggressively and price it right. so i would wait but the minute
you get a buyer on that house i would suggest to mika that she run right out and get the other house because this is the only market when you make money when you trade up even if she takes 20% loss on the first house she is going to get a 20% discount on her bigger house. >> exactly. our next question is about a short sale. it's from debra in north canton, ohio. my son owns his home and is current on his payments but the mortgage owed is 30 to 40,000 more than the house could sell for. my daughter-in-law is a real estate agent and has told me anyone who turns to a short sale will ruin their credit for three years and not be able to purchase another home. how does a short sale work? >> the truth is a short sale is probably the single best solution to the situation she is in and her daughter-in-law is right in that you ruin your credit for three years. it acts just like a foreclosure. but what it does do is gets the bank to cooperate to get the house sold. and you have to bear in mind that's the objective. the key in getting it sold is not doing it yourself. you should get a broker who
specializes only in short sales. they know the bankers. they know the players. they know the attorneys that deal in this. and you'll get it done. they'll also provide you the most important first step which is an appraisal. that gets the ball rolling. >> all right. next we have lindsay from minneapolis, minnesota, asking about refinancing. this is a big question. we bought our first house in 2010 with a 30-year mortgage. we're thinking of refinancing to a 15-year mortgage. we recently paid off both cars and have less than $3,000 credit card debt. if we refinance we could have our house paid off by the time we're 40. these people are on the ball. is this a smart idea? >> of course it's a great idea. you always save money when you refinance for a shorter term. these are people who are conservative. how many people have a low credit card? how many people have the car paid off? these are the kind of people that are going to sleep a heck of a lot better at night knowing they're not owing money. for that emotional reason alone it's a good financial decision. >> samuel in knoxville, tennessee has an option for paying off his mortgage and wants your input. he says i have a 401(k) with
enough money in it to pay my house off. >> lucky guy. >> this money is above my regular retirement through a government agency. if my regular retirement is sufficient for my needs would it be a good or bad idea to pay off my house with the money in my 401(k)? >> listen, the 401(k) if you've got the money stashed there is a great use of that money but have you to be careful about a couple things. one you have to be aware when you pull that money out you'll owe taxes on april 15th. it's treated as ordinary income when you pull that money out. if you happen to be under 59 years old, you'll get a 10% penalty so it's a great idea but you have to factor in those extra costs. >> all right. and then last is about refinancing for marilyn in westminster, colorado. our home is upside down. we're current on our payments. our first mortgage is an interest only five-year adjustable rate mortgage of 6.65% with a balance of $189,000. we also have a fixed 25-year mortgage of $46,000 at 11.43%. the combined mortgage payment is $2,000 a month which is starting to be difficult to manage.
she wants to know if paying down a large chunk of money to lower the loan balance, she says it's not an option but neither is letting her loan be foreclosed. >> listen, it's complicated. one thing for sure she has made a pact with the devil. that's a no win. she's got herself into a corner. it is going to be very, very hard to get refinancing because the banks will give her a run around. what she should do is go to the bank in person to her local lending officer and ask for loan modification. they're quicker, cheaper, and about ten times more apt to happen and they will cure the problem that she has which is this ridiculous pact she has that is going nowhere. >> great advice. as always, thanks so much. we appreciate it. coming up next, reigning "american idol" champion scotty mccreary talks about his life as a music star and a regular teenager. but first this is "today" on nbc.
welcome back. "american idol" skyrocketed kerry underwood and kelly clarkson into stardom. now there is a new boy in town following his predecessors down the road to country fame. scotty mccreary is off to a good start just months after winning "american idol." ♪ friday night football >> if you would ask scotty mccreary this question a year ago -- >> would you imagine you'd be sitting on your bus and -- >> he would have laughed. but scotty is no joke. just months after winning "american idol" the 18-year-old is now the opening act for country megastar brad paisley. >> brad just kind of sent the offer to my management saying we've got an offer to go on tour with brad paisley. are you kidding me? ♪ write nigh number on your where it's easy to see ♪ >> the fans certainly have mccreary's number. a year ago no one knew who you
were. ♪ the old town looks the same >> after entering "idol" on a whim scotty's deep voice and southern charm made him an instant fan favorite on the show. he beat out fellow teen crooner lauren elana in may with a record number of viewer votes, becoming the youngest male ever to win in the show's history. and since then, he's been on a whirlwind. >> scotty has been off to a great start since he left "american idol." his debut album cleared today and broke all kinds of records in the first week. he became the first male country artist to debut at the top of the billboard 200 with the first album. >> reporter: scotty's debut album went platinum in just 13 weeks. >> i wanted to make sure by the time the new season came along that people remembered who i was. >> your expectations are high because you won a contest. you're a winner so they come to see you onstage they really want you to bring it. >> we thought of that.
we have to go out and put a show on and really entertain these guys. we were well aware of that when we were rehearsing. >> reporter: despite his new found fame he's trying to stay grounded. born and raised in garner, north carolina, mccreary is finishing up his senior year in high school. he still sings in the school choir, and he's getting ready for a varsity baseball season. what people love about you and the reason you were so endearing to a lot of fans is because you're such a regular kid, a regular 18-year-old, high school kid. >> i was blown away by how it took a while to finish that dinner. my life changed but as a person i think i'm still the same. >> reporter: like most kids his age, he's applying to college. >> i have to ask you, was your college application essay about your "idol" experience? >> there was one that really pertained, the topic was about, you know, i had no choice but to relate it, what i've been doing the past few months. but i've tried to create it just about me as a person.
>> reporter: but other kids his age aren't on tour with brad paisley. >> this is a kid who, you know, he has that drive and he's really, really talented. more than that he's likeable. >> reporter: the virtual reality tour kicked off in january and mccreary had to learn fast how to juggle life on the road and homework. scotty's hometown couldn't be prouder of their idol. but it's his family who is the proudest. >> watching him up there just having the time of his life, i mean, as a parent that's what you want your kids to do. >> reporter: having the time of his life while still keeping true to his north carolina roots as he travels down this country road. ♪ take a little walk in the country with me ♪ >> the music has been my life for years. i'll be doing this for as long as i can. hopefully the country music world will ask me to do this my whole life. i'd love to do it. if not, you know, i'll have college to back me up. >> thank you! >> he really owns the stage. he is a natural, very
comfortable up there. we did the interview several weeks ago and i ran into him this week and said how's it going with the colleges? well i got some acceptances and he is going through them trying to figure out if i want to be close to home or far away just like every other 18-year-old. >> he is getting his education, staying in school, and sounds like he'll stay grounded for a long time. >> really enjoyed spending time with him. we'll be right back but first these messages. ...could mean living with joint damage. help stop the damage before it stops you... ...with humira. for many adults with moderate to severe ra,... ...humira's proven to help relieve pain and stop joint damage. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events can occur, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer, blood, liver, and nervous system problems,... ...serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common.
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you may remember baby arthur. we introduced him to you earlier. his mom photographed him dressed in various movie scenes. look at that face. from "jaws" to "shawshank redemption" to "american beauty" baby arthur took the web by storm. >> now we want to tell you about another baby who is some day going to be saying to his mom you did what to me? this is about baby henry. his mom photographer rachel hoolin takes pictures of her son in which he appears to be in flight. she sets up the shots to make it appear as though henry is flying or floating in mid air. don't see him in that one. she says she never stages the shots. >> what? >> how can it not be staged? she won't tell us her secret. he may give new meaning to "bouncing baby boy." >> that's it for ounce this saturday morning. want to thank bill karins, also alex witt. you can catch her on "weekends with alex witt" on nbc.
>> got to go. >> on the oscar predictions. who is expected to be the big winners in hollywood. >> we'll hear about it tomorrow. i'll see you tonig school.
i'll see you tonig school. you may want wow,
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